EditorĀ“s pick

Bitterns boom in rice bays

The largest population of Australasian Bitterns ever recorded has been found in Riverina rice crops, highlighting the potential role of rice growing – an industry often under fire for high water use – in waterbird conservation.

Michele Sabto     25-Aug-2014

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Features


‘Primary’ forests? Yes, there is a difference – and we need them more than ever
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What often gets lost in the public debate about forests is the fact that they are not all the same. This is not just a rhetorical point. The world's ‘primary' forests – those barely touched by industrial human activity – naturally sequester and store vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere; are home to species found nowhere else; are a source of abundant freshwater; and provide sustainable livelihoods for forest-dwelling Indigenous communities.
Brendan Mackey     15-Dec-2014
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How flesh-eaters helped shape our ecosystems
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Australian carnivores exhibit a remarkable diversity, from the small antechinuses found in rainforest trees, to goannas living in the heat of the central and western deserts. Each plays a vital role in our ecosystems, keeping other predators and herbivores under check and exerting ecological pressure from the top down.
15-Dec-2014
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Listening to the land
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Imagine yourself in the middle of the rainforest. Close your eyes. What do you hear? Perhaps the rustling of ground birds scratching around in the leaf litter, the sudden whip of a whipbird, the machine gun rattle of Lewin's honeyeater, the swish of the high canopy as the wind passes overhead.
May-Le Ng     12-Dec-2014
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Australia should export more ideas and fewer greenhouse emissions
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As climate negotiators meet at the United Nations' Lima summit, which comes hot on the heels of the landmark US-China climate deal, there is a renewed focus on how the world can move to a lower-emissions future.
Alex Wonhas     08-Dec-2014
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Urbanisation brings animals and diseases closer to home
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Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30 per cent of the world's population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50 per cent and rising. Among urbanisation's many environmental challenges is the increased risk of pathogen transmission.
Cadhla Firth and Kurt Zuelke     02-Dec-2014
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Megadosing the environment? How toxic waste from drug manufacture can create problems
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We've all heard about the pollution of our waterways from drug and cosmetic residues in our sewage and wastewater. But what about the waste discharged from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, especially the growing number of factories in places like India and China?
Rachel Sullivan     02-Dec-2014
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Local people may be the key to scaling back wildlife crime
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Law enforcement has been largely ineffective in slowing the global wildlife trade. What's really needed, say experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is more participation by local communities in wildlife conservation efforts. The plight of the pangolin – the world's only mammal with scales – is a case in point.
Beth Askham     25-Nov-2014
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Things warm up as the East Australian Current heads south
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Occasional erratic bursts southward of the East Australian Current (EAC) are thought to have moderated the weather of south-east Australia this autumn and winter and they continue to introduce tropical and sub-tropical marine species to Tasmanian waters.
Jaci Brown     25-Nov-2014
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Insects: ecological marvels, evolutionary miracles
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Not only are insects diverse, they are also of immense economic and medical importance. They affect our daily lives in positive and negative ways, from pollinating our crops to spreading diseases such as malaria. But we can only start to understand the enormous species richness and ecological importance of insects with a reliable reconstruction of their relationships.
David Yeates     17-Nov-2014
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The science of living with fire
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The bushfire season isn't wasting any time this year. There have already been large fires in South Australia and NSW, and the obligatory ‘the state is a tinderbox' warnings came out months ago.
Virginia Tressider     10-Nov-2014
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Does sustainability reporting make organisations more sustainable?
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‘You can't manage what you can't measure' said the renowned management consultant and educator, Peter Drucker. Organisations measure their financial performance and communicate it through their annual reports. But how do they measure and report on the increasingly vital areas of social and environmental performance?
Renard Siew     10-Nov-2014
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Managing top predators: culling brings its own set of problems
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In October, a young man surfing off the south coast of Western Australia (WA) near Esperance lost an arm and hand in an encounter with what was reported to be a great white shark. Shortly after, baited drum lines (shark hooks suspended from floats anchored to the sea bed) were deployed and two sharks were caught and killed.
Michele Sabto     05-Nov-2014
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